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hope for churches in stress

Letting Go

Life is full of transitions. At times prompted by opportunity, sometimes by distress, transitions are challenging. They can be managed poorly or well.

Unless transition is forced, we make a decision. This may be in a context of affection, criticism, or both. Often an uncomfortable time, we may wrestle with questions of calling, motivation, timing, and financial impact. Thankfully, this is a chance to encounter Jesus.

Whatever the circumstances, we want to conclude well. We engage faithfully to the last, attend to stressed relationships, graciously receive farewells, and care for personal and family needs. We are constructive in word, action, and attitude.

When transition involves role change, we conscientiously “let go” of responsibilities. Comments about our successor are consistently positive. We refuse to take public (or grapevine) stands on any issue before our former team or group.

Like a process of grieving, we may experience (and encounter) reactions of denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. Our aim is acceptance and mutual support. In this way the community or organization we are leaving can move forward in health and strength.

None of our transitions compare to the incarnation, the most extreme of all time. With this example, and the Spirit within, we can strive for an attitude that is “the same as that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being born in human likeness.” (Phil. 2:5-7)

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